The :lang() CSS pseudo-class matches elements based on the language they are determined to be in.

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Note: In HTML, the language is determined by a combination of the lang attribute, the <meta> element, and possibly by information from the protocol (such as HTTP headers). For other document types there may be other document methods for determining the language.


Formal syntax

:lang(<language-code> [,<language-code> ]*)
  /* ... */



A comma separated list of one or more <string>s that target an element with a language value according to BCP 47 language codes. Matching by language range is case-insensitive.


When selecting languages, there is implicit wildcard matching, so :lang(de-DE) will match de-DE, de-DE-1996, de-Latn-DE, de-Latf-DE, and de-Latn-DE-1996. Explicitly using wildcards must include a full match of a language subtag, so :lang("*-F*") is invalid but :lang("*-Fr") is valid.


Matching children of a given language

In this example, the :lang() pseudo-class is used to match the parents of quote elements (<q>) using child combinators. Note that this doesn't illustrate the only way to do this, and that the best method to use depends on the type of document. Also note that Unicode values are used to specify some of the special quote characters.


<div lang="en">
  <q>This English quote has a <q>nested</q> quote inside.</q>
<div lang="fr">
  <q>This French quote has a <q>nested</q> quote inside.</q>
<div lang="de">
  <q>This German quote has a <q>nested</q> quote inside.</q>


:lang(en) > q {
  quotes: "\201C""\201D""\2018""\2019";
:lang(fr) > q {
  quotes: "« " " »";
:lang(de) > q {
  quotes: "»" "«" "\2039""\203A";


Matching multiple languages

The following example shows how to match multiple languages by providing a comma-separated list of language codes. It's also possible to use a wildcard to match languages in a given language range.


/* Matches nl and de */
:lang("nl", "de") {
  color: green;

/* Omitting quotes & case-insensitive matching */
:lang(EN, FR) {
  color: blue;

/* Wildcard matching a language range */
:lang("*-Latn") {
  color: red;


<p lang="nl">Dit is een Nederlandse paragraaf.</p>
<p lang="de">Dies ist ein deutscher Satz.</p>
<p lang="en">This is an English sentence.</p>
<p lang="en-GB">Matching the language range of English.</p>
<p lang="fr">Ceci est un paragraphe français.</p>
<p lang="fr-Latn-FR">Ceci est un paragraphe français en latin.</p>



Selectors Level 4
# lang-pseudo

Browser compatibility

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See also